This year we celebrate 10th year of the #LisbonTreaty. Definitely a reform, an update is needed; reconnecting Europe with citizens is the most crucial thing – among others. By looking at the end result and where we ended up today; Approximately one month later an EU member state is leaving the bloc; the gap between politics in Europe and citizens is wider than ever, should we celebrate?History can only be understood backwards but we must be lived and acted forward with the wisdom we learned from the lessons of history and hope of the future.In fact, “The European Constitution”; the debate about our common – fundamental principles and Europe were great opportunities to reconnect the citizens with the EU.Putting the ❤ of EU where it belongs to; EUROPEAN CITIZENS #LisbonTreaty process is actually where the 💔 and downhill for the European project – started by the hands of political leaders..Let’s not forget !The story of Lisbon Treaty’s ratification is also the story of hypocrisy within the EU member states’ politics. It was originally the EU Constitution; rejected by French and Dutch by public votes and rewritten – to make it impossible to be understood by citizens. Then they voted in favor.. Basically, the citizens were used by politicians in a 20th century political system where citizens were not given a chance to voice and participative, deliberative democracy was not part of its nature. Public vote was only a negotiation tool to benefit national politicians in their political games away from citizens.An international literary group in Brussels called #BrusselsPoetryCollective wanted to see whether they could come up with an alternative version. In 2009 they wrote a poetical constitution for Europe in the face of a political fiasco of European Constitution process, which failed to connect EU with its citizens. “The European Constitution in Verse”
The aim was to put the debate on Europe where it belongs: among the free citizens concerned.
The European Constitution in Verse was more than a frivolous revision of a political fiasco. Furthermore, they wanted to create a European Constitution that people would actually read. To achieve this goal, they worked with more than 50 European poets.
I was among these poets.
A poetical constitution for Europe with citizens at its ❤ !
Here is my part:
“Feel the others’ rhythm
Get these crinoids and few nettle
Comb the Aegean’s hair
with your melodies
Caress the North Sea’s salty skin
Remember me Europa !!”
In 2009, I, as a young poet strolling through EU institutions corridors, was working for a better Europe. My memories of those days are still giving me heartaches. Seeing greedy European politicians failing European project and her citizens was a painful experience as a young European.
Since then this pain, anxiety but also hope for better Europe, citizen-centric, participatory European democracy, progressive not protectionist Europe have been the main driving factors behind my civic entrepreneurial actions and artistic works throughout the years.
When Brexit was a reality and many other exit scenarios were being discussed across the EU in 2016, it was a democrat’s nightmare came true. I was not only angry with those working to disintegrate the EU but also with those occupying – the other camp without clearly showing ownership for the European project and fundamental values.
So in 2016, as a socially engaged artist, I made this mix-media painting which has a telling title:
“The auto-portrait of 21st century democrat’s heart”
2016..The year of #Brexit, #Trump ‘s election as US President, military-coup attempt in Turkey. Terrible year 😪
10 years later than failed European Constitution, 3 years after Brexit vote, last week’s #UKelection2019 reflected a painful outlook and our hearts are still bleeding.
Lisbon Treaty definitely has brought some improvements and hope, but it was not exactly what European project needed, has fallen short in responding the challenges ahead of Europe.
Today the solution is still putting ❤ of Europe where it belongs to 👉 Citizens.
We cannot make progress on this project without making our democratic and political institutions true participatory institutions vis-a-vis citizens. Breaking the stagnation in 20th century and upgrading them into 21st century democratic standards are what it takes.
Since 2014 I have been organising workshops on the future of democracy and politics with young European citizens under our trademarked brand of Democracy 4.0™
Young citizens expressed their frustrations and expectations with the current 20th century model. In these workshops we have discussed many aspects from organisational architecture to transformational technologies such as AI, from citizen assemblies to analog and digital bridges.
Today Democracy 4.0™ is a “think & do tank” at the heart of EU capital, truly pan-European project with a strong commitment to citizen engagement, tech intense, citizen-centric democratic model developed with people, for people.
These years are historically a very important ones; European democracy once again needs a renewal, renovation for a better future of European citizens and become a positive transformational power for the rest of the world.
It is time to act!
This article originally published at Euractiv’s blogging platform: